Good Morning may not be one of those well-known household names in Melbourne at the moment… But they should be. With a recent signing to Bedroom Suck Records, it was an absolute no-brainer to take the opportunity to chat to the Melbourne pair Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons to find out how they’re going.
In the world of laid-back, mellow and subtle artists, it is a rarity to see any bands or solo artists rise up the ranks. For instance Mac DeMarco would be one of the more recent artists to achieve this, and the “feature” that separates Mac from his peers is his humour, whether lyrically or on stage. This is something that Good Morning share with Mac, their ability to laugh and enjoy a good joke. Although I feel at times a more serious nature could help them on their way up, their playful approach to life and music translates to curiosity, and an eagerness to keep an open mind. Their signing with Bedroom Suck (who I feel are heavily underrated, signing some of the best bands in the country) could be that final step-up Good Morning needs to break out and become an industry staple.
So Good Morning is where my money would go at the moment, with a brand new album already recorded, I get the impression that the boys are in a good head space right now. They seem to be taking leaps, with a Europe Tour being the biggest one, and I can’t imagine they’d take these risks unless they believed in the new album. Until it comes out, let’s play catch-up below with Good Morning.
Marcus Rimondini: Where have you been hiding for most of this year?
Liam Parsons: Recording, slowly.
Stefan Blair: Mixing some stuff.
Liam: [laughs] Taking ages to finish it. It’s been nice though, no time restraints or anything. We checked out of the whole thing for a while there.
Did you not know the next step after the initial releases?
Liam: We’ve had demos of what the album’s going to be for a year and a half or so…
Stefan: We started mixing it, but it was a bit fucked. So we went back and started again just a few weeks ago.
Are you two mixing it?
Liam: Yeah, [we] tried to do everything this time.
Have you always done everything yourselves?
Liam: It has slowly progressed that way. The first thing we did was recorded and mixed with our friend Hamish Mitchell (I’lls). Then with the second EP we recorded it all ourselves, then mixed with him. Now, with this one, we’re recording and mixing it all ourselves.
How did the Bedroom Suck Records signing happen?
Stefan: One day Joe Alexander just sent me a message on Facebook [laughs]. I think he was just plotting away things, like he usually does, and was interested in doing this re-issue. Which was coincidentally around the time we were thinking about the record and wanted to send it to him anyway.
So he snuck in by just asking about a reissue, but was secretly looking to… ?
Liam: I think secretly we were trying to get the album in.
So you were both secretly trying to play it cool?
Liam: [laughs] Pretty much. I think we both got what we wanted in the end.
It looks like you barely have a break from touring until October, is this the longest you have ever toured?
Liam: We have actually never really been on tour… we did go on a trip to New York once for CMJ, but that was just staying in the same place.
Stefan: It was sort of more of a holiday.
Liam: I guess we’ve been to Sydney a couple times? And went to Brisbane once.
Does this tour make you excited or daunted?
Liam: Excited! I haven’t been overseas since CMJ.
Stefan: I’m into it. I like getting out of Melbourne, and visiting somewhere near like Switzerland will be exciting.
Question… Do you get paid more or screwed over more in Switzerland?
Liam: … I don’t know actually [laughs].
Stefan: [laughs] We’ll probably end up spending way more money than we should.
Liam: The beers cost more, that’s for sure.
Has it always been just the four of you in Good Morning?
Liam: Yeah, just the four of us playing live.
Stefan: And Joe’s coming too this time.
Liam: And our friend Kim Ambrosius is over there in Copenhagen. She’s been helping Joe with Bedroom Suck so it should be good. It’s going to be busy I guess.
What’s the jamming/recording process like in Melbourne?
Stefan: We mainly work at home and Liam’s beach house in Lorne.
Liam: … And I guess we are mixing it in my bedroom in Fairfield [laughs].
Did the beach house influence the sound or the atmosphere of the recordings?
Stefan: It kind of sounds glassy?
Liam: [laughs] There’s glass windows everywhere. We recorded the Glory EP there and had a construction site going on next door the whole time. So yes, you can hear hammering and drills in the background. However, there’s no WIFI, no people… it’s good for that. You just kind of sit there, and all of the sudden you’ve been there for 14 hours.
Stefan: You sit there until very early in the morning, go to sleep, wake up and do it again. It’s a nice routine.
Liam: There’s nothing else to do, maybe rent DVDs? [laughs]
Do you do anything creative outside of music?
Liam: Not really, we’re not very good at anything else [laughs].
Stefan: We play in other friends bands and stuff like that.
Liam: We try to do our own artwork, posters, and t-shirts!
Stefan: Although, they are usually thrown together in a couple minutes [laughs].
… Is ‘we’ actually just one person?
Stefan: Nah, whoever wants to do it.
Liam: [laughs] Whoever can be bothered.
Is it just you two who record the music? Or do you bring in the band when it comes to recording?
Stefan: We record it all. Some of the songs we will play with the band before we go in and record them. But most of the time we just record them as demo’s and show it to everyone else and see what they make of it.
Has the band always been the same four members?
Liam: It’s always been the four of us because there are more shows at the moment. Not everyone can always make them, so we’ve had Joe filling in on drums and Stefan’s brother on bass for a while as well.
How was the Tasmanian tour?
Liam: So good!
Stefan: It was pretty wild.
Liam: There was this crazy bar called Dan’s Bar in Franklin. It was this weird little alternate universe [laughs].
Stefan: We ended up having an after party at this woman’s house named Jane – she was 82 I think. She had a bunch of us back at her house for drinks and weird stew.
Liam: She was just sitting there drinking goon and chain smoking [laughs].
Liam: There were some good, weird pub shows as well – especially in this place called Wynyard. People were just shouting at us to play covers [laughs]. So it was us TRYING to do that, and making up covers on the spot.
Do you guys have any directional changes moving forward? Anything new you want to add to Good Morning, or just more refining?
Liam: We’ve been thinking more keyboard. It’s probably cleaner.
Stefan: Yeah, more saxophone as well. A lot of it was written on keys, there wasn’t much of that before.
Liam: No huge effort put into changing things, but it has naturally changed I guess.
Are the songs more internal or external?
Stefan: I feel like they’ve stayed somewhat the same.
Liam: They go deeper, maybe. We tried to be somewhat less whiny, tried to whinge less [laughs].
Stefan: The vocal performance hasn’t improved whatsoever.
Liam: [laughs] I don’t know how it panned out though, it’s really pretty whiny.
Do the track lengths vary more this time around?
Stefan: They are all pretty short still.
Liam: There’s a couple of four minute ones… Or almost four minutes [laughs]. One’s about 3 minutes 50 seconds, but at the end of the day, it’s like 10 songs in 27-28 minutes.
Have you been playing the new album on the recent tours?
Liam: Yeah, we’ve been playing most of the tracks for a fair while. There’s still a couple that we don’t know how to play live because of the arrangements – trying to figure out how to make it a band song.
Stefan: Yeah, how to tune without having four guitars on stage.
Liam: [laughs] Like Wilco.
Stefan: Jet [laughs].
What’s your connection to Baro?
Stefan: We still play in his band – I play bass.
Liam: I’m on guitar.
Stefan: We recorded a couple tracks with him on the EP that he just put out.
Is it nice being able to defer to somebody else?
Liam: Yeah, it’s great [laughs].
Stefan: You just rock up, you’ve got your instrument and that’s it. It’s nice to add another genre to what we can do I guess. I think we’re going to try and make a record with him at some point, but we will see if that happens.
Have you learnt much from that type of experience?
Liam: It’s definitely helped me play the guitar better, expand the range I guess.
Some guy named Alejandro Tafurth made the ‘Warned You’ video on YouTube, did he ask you? It has 660K views
Stefan: Yes! So he sent us a message and said: “I made this video, can I put it up on the internet?” I was like “Sure!” [laughs].
Liam: Me and Joe were talking about that yesterday, people think it’s the actual video. It’s quite funny. The video is very sexual [laughs]. There’s a couple of those, where people go on skiing trips or hiking trips and they’ll make little holiday videos.
Stefan: It’s like those videos you see of like two twelve or thirteen-year-old kids hanging out with their iPhones, filming some shit. It’s just their day, hanging out.
Liam: There’s this one where some kids in America played one of our songs at their high school talent show [laughs]. It’s wild, and actually really beautiful.
Stefan: There was also a band in Japan that used our track in some sort of battle of the bands.
Have you guys gotten any other weird requests in your DMs?
Liam: Not exactly weird, but a lot of people ask for lyrics because we never put our lyrics online. I guess we mumble a lot, so nobody ever knows what we’re saying [laughs]. We just sort of ignore them. I think we used to send them out.
Stefan: There’s a lot of Genius.com incorrect lyrics out there [laughs].
Liam: The reissue has a poster in it with all the lyrics that we did, it’ll be interesting to see if that actually changes anything.
Have you seen what’s happened to your Spotify? There’s an album in your profile clearly not by you…
Liam: [laughs] Yeah it’s so good.
Stefan: That shit got us a lot of weird messages. People were quite confused.
Liam: There’s some great tweets actually.
Stefan: There’s a really funny one that we got this morning. A girl in South America sent us a message saying “Come play!” Then we got another message this morning and she changed her mind: “My girlfriend and I just listened to your new album, it sucks, don’t come” [laughs].
Liam: [laughs] Here’s another one: “Confused as to what the fuck you just released, did you just record some pre-made beats and just loop them?” — “I am sorry if you spent a lot of effort on the new album, but it sucks” [laughs].
What’s planned after the Europe tour?
Liam: More touring and more writing.
Have you played any festival circuits?
Liam: The only festival we’ve played was Paradise Music Festival. We did a few with Baro over summer which was funny. It’s a whole different world and pretty entertaining. The problem was we just got drunk and tried to meet semi-famous people all the time.
Stefan: Jamie T side of stage [laughs].
Liam: I don’t think we met anyone at Laneway, but we used a bunch of their resources, someone got a free massage.
Stefan: I did get a free massage! Then we just took all the free beers and went to the nearest fish and chip shop.
Liam: Cheers Laneway! [laughs].
|Thursday 20th July – Melbourne @ The Tote w/ Dianas & Way Dynamic|
|Saturday 22nd July – Geelong @ The Barwon Club Hotel w/ Great Outdoors, Hachiku, Hollie Joyce & The Tiny Giants||Friday 28th July – Adelaide @ The Metro w/ WORKHORSE & Goon Wizarrd|
|Saturday 29th July – Adelaide @ Holly Rollers w/ AVANT GARDENERS, Fair Maiden, David Blumbergs & The Maraby Band + more||Friday 4th August – Coldedale @ Coledale RSL w/ Ciggie Witch, Unity Floors & Solid Effort|
|Saturday 5th August – Braidwood @ Braidwood Hotel w/ Ciggie Witch||Sunday 6th August – Sydney @ Petersham Bowling Club w/ Ciggie Witch|
|Saturday 12th August – Beechworth @ Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel||Friday 25th August – Castlemaine @ Petersham Bowling Club w/ Ciggie Witch|
|Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th September – Brisbane @ BIGSOUND|
|Friday 15th September – Copenhagen @ Stengade||Saturday 16th September – Stockholm @ Landet|
|Tuesday 19th September – Aarhus @ Tape||Thursday 21st September – Berlin @ Internet Explorer|
|Friday 22nd September – Dresden @ Ostpol||Saturday 23rd September – Trier @ Ex-Haus|
|Wednesday 27th September – Manchester @ Castle’s||Thursday 28th September – London @ Shakwell Arms|
|Friday 29th September – Brighton @ The Joker||Saturday 30th September – Paris @ Espace B|
Paradise Music Festival returned for its fourth year with a stellar line-up and more features, venues and fun for both their loyal patrons and new additions. From an offering of espresso martinis to luxurious camping abodes, the team behind Paradise stepped up their offerings this year in line with the growth of the festival as a whole. Even the cold weather and misty-to-almost-sightless nights could do nothing to dampen the spirit that lives on in the unique Paradise crowd, who traverse Lake Mountain Alpine Resort annually for one sublime weekend in November.
Our team was there with you on the hill, watching as day turned into night, then onto clubland and the sheer fantastic mayhem that the artists and atmosphere creates. So here’s our review, reflections and right of passage to say that Paradise was, yet again, an unchallenged success in the Victorian festival hierarchy – and as usual we cannot WAIT until next year.
It’s liberating to be able to confidently say – to whichever group you’re spending time with – ‘I’m going to head to the stage now for a dance’, knowing that you will be safe and enjoy yourself following your feet. Paradise felt like a weekend of being surrounded by friends – my friends, friends of friends, or potential new friends. There were countless times where, unaware of the inherent corniness, I’d have to interrupt a friend and point out the sunset, sunrise or frosty sky that made the festival feel like the interior of an innately Australian snow globe.
Among the excitement and stress that goes into the preparation of leaving for a camping festival, it is both a necessary and solemn reality check to start the festival with a Welcome to Country. I would also like to acknowledge here that Paradise is held on land which was stolen from its traditional owners, the Taungurung people.
Hi-Tec Emotions started their set with such power and vitality, I felt like they blew open the expectations for the music we could expect to hear during the weekend. They widened our eyes and opened our ears. Acts that followed flowed so neatly, each bringing their own air to the stage.
Sui Zhen’s sound has evolved over the years in such a natural and exciting way. She has never compromised her musical identity, throughout its evolution. It was such a warm and delightful experience seeing her perform. So much of her came through her sound and stage presence – every audience member was feeling the energy of their music and bopping and rolling hips.
I hadn’t listened to much Julia Jacklin before Paradise, but seeing her live proved she lives up to the recent hype surrounding her music. Before we know it, she’ll be globally known and we will think, gosh we were so lucky to see her at play so beautifully on Friday night at Paradise 2016.
Gabriella Cohen’s set too was a journey through an array of different senses, which was what made the final part of it feel so magical. What started as quite a minimal and acoustic performance (with only a few people on stage) ended up bursting with people and friends jamming on stage and involving the audience.
I am so excited for the future of Fortunes.. Their set was so fresh and so smooth. Both Fortunes. and Baro, who followed, interacted dynamically with the audience. Baro, along with his new live band, had a set up which was striking and inviting. GL, despite the bare stage, wasted no space during her set. Her liveliness was absolutely contagious. Harvey Sutherland’s sound instils such a rare feeling of musical love in me and experiencing it live just amplifies that sensation.
Simona Castricum was the perfect act to open Clubland. Her set gave me this feeling I have occasionally (often at festivals or events that require a certain amount of prior preparation). The feeling when you realise you’ve been having heaps of fun and that is what you are supposed to be doing; you go to a festival to enjoy yourself and you become too carefree to remember that that’s the objective of the entire weekend. The space set everyone free from the cold. There were so many clothing items on the floor. I accidentally lost my jacket for the night behind a locker and nearly got stuck between a deep and tight gap between a locker and a wall trying to fish it out.
Clubland felt like a new club every time a new act started (despite hearing Jamie XX’s record played in full between sets) – the tailored visuals switched the vibe up really well. I loved Ocdantar’s visuals especially. They added a new plane to his music in such a tasteful way. Couture was an act I was eager to see because I believe it might have been the last opportunity to see them live as both members are now following other artistic pursuits. While Simon Lam is currently abroad touring with Kllo, Hamish Mitchell held the room well. Planéte’s sets never fail to inspire me. He always makes me feel especially proud to be from Melbourne – a feeling which Paradise as a festival amplifies as well.
At Paradise I had a lot of moments accepting my own fun, both alone and with friends, without seeking validation or doing things I didn’t want to do. A lot of other festivals have an undercurrent of pressure to be loud, or to be having the ‘most’ fun – and to broadcast that fact to the rest of the attendees. While I did feel free to be expressive at Paradise, there was no pressure to be anything in particular. Just an unspoken respect and acceptance between the crowd and performers alike to act however you felt like acting, dance however you felt like dancing, and embrace Paradise for its ability to make you feel free.
The beauty of a chill-ridden fest is that you don’t awake from your slumber with the familiar rasp of horror, in a sun-filled tent which suddenly resembles a satanic sauna. No, instead you are woken up by the ramblings of tent friends, or the rustle of passers by. You’re given time to adjust, rather than having to scramble for fresh air and general respiratory release.
I personally find the first moment of exit from the tent one of life’s great joys. Primarily due to the great unknown of what may be happening underneath the main gazebo of the sprawling camp site. It seems, that at 11.30 am, several of my Paradise mates have decided it’s time for Espresso Martinis. I wish I could say I had the foresight not to get involved so early, however curiosity got the better of me, and I was on board.
We sipped intermittently, with the sound of Huntly floating through the campsite. Their jilted pop has never quite grasped me, however they did provide a lovely soundtrack to that Espresso hit.
The moment of note to kick start the day was always going to be Alice Ivy. The bopping barista has taken to the ladder of the Australian music scene with great authority in 2016, climbing with real purpose as the year has progressed. Her set had people shifting from their best impersonations of sedated souls, to moving with a bit more purpose. There’s something quite homely about her stage presence, it all seems so unabashed and joyous. It’s pretty nice seeing a musician have fun, but maybe I’m stuck in an alternate world with that mentality.
The sun began to shine, and the consequences were felt by many. A combo of hallucinogens and sunburn trickled through the crowd, leading to some truly hilarious facial expressions. It seemed a more than adequate backdrop to the performance of Saatsuma who, although still finding a cohesive sound, held some gorgeous sweeping melodies. Harmonies are undoubtedly Saatsuma’s strength, with both Memphis Kelly and sister Maddy Kelly showcasing their vocal range on more than one occasion.
I love Terrible Truths, but as is the case with festivals, I done fucked up and missed them. I bought a Bedroom Suck hat to make up for that though. I lost it twenty minutes later. They sounded great from the campsite.
It wouldn’t be a day two review if we weren’t to mention the creeping sense of fatigue. Keeping with the theme of “bands growing exponentially over 12 months” how FREAKING GOOD IS RAINBOW CHAN?
There’s this real sense of urgency and confidence in her stage show. It has shades of arrogance, so much bounce, and it is just god damn infectious. The juxtaposition of the power of Rainbow Chan’s ball of energy and my second day festival fatigue was real. We grooved for the first half, atop the rock 50 metres back, however by no fault of anyone, we found ourselves back on the slant, sipping away once again.
Krakatau blew my brain to pieces at Meredith 2 years back. Never had a sleepless night and relentless sunburn brought such joy. It’s difficult to pin down their style with clarity, as it seems forever changing. Without trying to genre-fy, I feel it leans most toward jazz and free form, however the tightness of their performance is seriously mind boggling. It was a joy watching the blissfully ignorant lay eyes upon this set for the first time. So many left in awe, of what was a commanding performance. It seems to be said numerous times each year, but scarcely have I seen a band more suited to the setting, not to mention set time.
With the exploits of the day prior having officially taking their toll, I snuck away back to my camp site for a late arvo nap. Timing was poor, and I missed Miles Brown. A past writer for the site had it pinned as ‘set of the festival’, and I do love a good Theremin.
Luckily, I was shaken awake somewhere in the early stages of friendships. I’ve always been a little ashamed of my inability to feel the same way about friendships as so many of my colleagues. It’s not that I’ve ever disliked them, they just haven’t really connected with me yet (wankerism #32). The last half of their set at Paradise was glorious. It was theatrical, it was heavy, it was near impossible to dance to. It felt abrasive, but not for the sake of being abrasive, and Nic Brown has unabashed stone-faced charisma. ‘When Feel Like Killing, I Murder’, with a little interlude monologue. Frighteningly powerful.
Being the band that, in many ways, sold me the ticket, I couldn’t help but feel a flurry of nerves as I waited for Gold Class to arrive. Would they disappoint me a la Chilli Peppers at BDO ’13, or would they triumph in the manner of Dizzee Rascal circa BDO ’10? Only time would tell.
Although they haven’t expressly vocalised it, I feel that strength of live performances must be a significant category in Paradise’s booking process. To one who had never seen Gold Class perform live, they were perhaps unusually placed on the lineup, in their rock-centric manner. However, Adam Curley’s mean, disaffected presence on-stage coupled with Evan Purdey and Jon Shub storming about the stage makes for a serious live show, one that is so gloriously separate to the remainder of the fest. Curley’s style does lean towards the glory days of post-punk, without seeming overly derivative, and ‘Life As A Gun‘ is a steamer of a live track.
With mulled wine and consistent shit talking on the menu for the remainder of the night, I found myself surrounded by shivering bodies at the makeshift bar. It’s quite a redeeming feature of Paradise, to note that there is no demographic here. Perhaps it’s different at 5am in clubland, but right now I feel as though all worlds of musical musings have collected under one tent, to talk trash about very little. I hear conversations of Modern Family, Thirsty Merc, and a list of things that should be brought back in 2017. I learnt that planking is ready for a triumphant return, and strangely felt completely at home.
Photo by Brandon John
Tucked away in the little town of Marysville, Lake Mountain Alpine Resort is home to one of Victoria’s best boutique festivals – Paradise.
Taking place from the 25th to the 27th of November, Paradise is an intimate three-day music, camping, and BYO festival. Alongside their four years of festival wisdom, organisers this year received a grant from Creative Victoria, which has enabled them to add new, exciting features – including a third stage for extra fun and activities.
Not only are we excited for the picturesque surroundings and welcoming good-time crowd, the stellar line-up alone is something to gush about. The festival has become the best in the country when it comes to featuring acts the year before they almost double their fanbase and market value. Our team has put their heads together to discuss 8 acts we believe are ready to take that next step in 2017.
In certain circles Harvey Sutherland is already a recognisable name, which is interesting for a musician who hasn’t actually released a whole lot of music since emerging around 2012. Instead he’s been working his butt off playing overseas and perfecting his craft, a wise move in my opinion, especially when electronic music can often be too easy to release half-cooked. However it appears like 2017 is the year we will finally hear all the music Harvey has been slowly cooking and if it’s anything like ‘Bravado‘, he’s set to truly be a household name.
A young breath of fresh air, Baro is leading the current resurgence of Australian hip-hop. Gradually building a following over the last couple of years, he has started to prick up the ears of major music channels within the local industry. This is largely thanks to a lyrical style that fluctuates between melodic verse and rapping, paired with production that thinks outside the traditional Aussie hip-hop box. His latest releases have seen a new level of diversification in his style and the genres he explores. This confidence to tread new grounds will certainly make for interesting listening.
There’s a few people I wouldn’t bet against in the Australian scene and Joe Alexander who runs Bedroom Suck and drums in Terrible Truths, Free Time and Scott & Charlene’s Wedding (among many other guest appearances) is one of those people. Everything he’s been a part of in 2016 has been gold. If Terrible Truths’ recent live shows (including the new tracks) are anything to go by, Australia’s tightest band has somehow become even tighter. Definitely a band that will impress US critics and punters alike.
I think it’s safe to say that 99% of Australia under-appreciated Sui Zhen‘s record last year . It was probably because Sui made the album sound so easy to make, but that was the brilliance of Secretly Susan. Now Sui is back from a two-month inspirational trip to Japan with a fresh bag of ideas for the follow up album. Hopefully this time Australia appreciates what she brings to the table.
A sound so reflective, however not overly nostalgic. It doesn’t seem steeped in the past, rather leaning on little elements of Nico, Karen O & the plethora of bedroom producers of the 90’s. Dannika has transported all of this into a very current style, maintaining a unique lyrical presence that separates her from not only the remainder of this lineup but also the broader musical community. A perfect early afternoon booking, seemingly destined for sun-drenched times on the rock, 50 metres back with a couple of mates.
Three albums into her solo music career, Simona Castricum has graced the Melbourne scene for years as a prolific and talented producer, DJ, vocalist and electronic percussionist. Her distinctive sound is a nod to the dark synth-pop of the 80’s and the techno club tunes of the 90’s. Infused with a smart pop aesthetic, she incorporates live electronic drumming into her sets for a unique live experience. After a successful year following the release of her latest LP Trigger Warning #40, featuring the dance floor ready single ‘No Allegiance,’ Simona will be sure to turn the Paradise stage into an emotionally fuelled outdoor rave.
“Gabriella Cohen is like the next Courtney Barnett“, has been a repeated comment across the industry, but I disagree. Gabriella and her bandmate partner in crime Kate Dillion are more unpredictable, looser and unafraid to take risks. The last part being the X factor, the more confidence Gabriella Cohen gets from the positive feedback around her debut album, the more likely she is to take bolder risks in 2017 and that makes her fascinating to follow.
Planète is arguably the best kept musical secret in Melbourne. He completely went off the grid for a good chunk of 2016, but he’s back with ‘Nightcrawler‘ and a new found assurance of where he wants to go next. Dion is bedroom, music studio junky, who has an ear as good as anyone’s for effective, meticulously detailed arrangements. He’s a perfectionist who may be taking his sweet time, but if it all comes flowing out in 2017, we are in for a real treat.
We’ve also put together a playlist featuring 25 artists playing the festival, which you can find by following the links below to the music streaming service of your choice. See you all in Paradise.
Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska
Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.
|Saturday, 29th October||Buy Tickets|
Sydney band Retiree are coming down to Melbourne to launch their new single ‘Continental‘ on Saturday night.
They’ll be joined by two incredible supports, CORIN and SHOUSE, at Boney on Little Collins St from 8pm.
|Sunday, 30th October||Buy Tickets|
Paradise Music Festival is fast approaching, and this Sunday at The Gaso you can catch a glimpse of what’s in store for later in November.
The lineup includes Lucy Cliche, Tom Moore (Otologic), Simona Castricum, Brooke Powers, Tom Baker, River Yarra and the Paradise DJs. Head down for a huge day of good vibes and great tunes.
|Sunday, 30th October||~Free Event~|
Smooch Records are putting on a special show Sunday afternoon in the Queen Victoria Gardens.
Local favs SMILE will be playing tunes from Californian folk-rock-psychedelia icons The Byrds. They’ll also be joined on the day by Lower Plenty.
|Monday, 31st October||Buy Tickets|
GR!M in collaboration with LISTEN have put together an all-ages event on Cup Eve, showcasing a whole host of female/non-binary centric acts in celebration of the inagural GR!M camp (details on that here).
Featuring The Girl Fridas, Swim Team, LAZERTITS, Huntly, Pillow Pro and many many more playing from late afternoon well into the evening at Thornbury Bowls Club.
|Monday, 31st October||Buy Tickets|
ALTA are back in Melbourne to celebrate the launch of their new EP, Sincere.
They’re playing at The Toff in Town on Cup Eve, with support from the majestic Saatsuma and Christopher Port.
It’s been a brilliant breakout year for Julia Jacklin, one that has made her a must-have inclusion for festival line-ups this summer. Her band Phantastic Furniture caught our attention at the end of last year with the song ‘Gap Year‘. Though it was obvious that Julia had serious talent as the lead vocalist, few would’ve guessed that she would record what is, in my opinion, the best Australian debut album of 2016.
In between international tours and an upcoming Australian tour, we caught up with her in Melbourne to ask her where exactly she came from, how she got signed internationally before being signed in Australia, an update on Phantastic Furniture and why she’s so eager to start on the second album already.
Marcus Rimondini: You left the Blue Mountains after High School?
Julia Jacklin: Yeah that’s when I moved to the city, but for my last two years of high school I was in the city everyday, because I went to school in Sydney. So I traveled like 2 hours back and forth every day. It was a performing arts high school. Then I moved to the city when I was 18.
When did you finish University?
I finished University in 2014. I had a gap year after school and went to South America for a while and then I came back and was at University for 4.5 years, flipping around between degrees.
Where are you based now in Sydney?
I live in a share-house in Glebe. I’ve lived in the share-house for 4.5 years. I live in like the garage out the back and it’s really good because the rent is super cheap for Sydney. I’m not willing to give [it] up, even though I’m always away.
Can you practice in this garage?
Yeah. It’s two levels and it’s nice to have a bit of a home base when I’m away so much. It’s nice to sleep in the same bed.
Who are the housemates?
Thomas Stephens and Eddie Boyd, my guitarist and my drummer both live in the house as well.
You don’t get on each others nerves?
It’s pretty interesting. I just spent the last month touring with Tom my drummer. Where we were sharing a room, sharing a tour van, and we play in two bands together, he plays bass in Phantastic Furniture. So yeah, we’re very close now *laughs*.
What’s the latest with Phantastic Furniture?
We finished an EP, we are just waiting, just because I’ve been away for a lot. It’s hard with Phantastic, because everyone in the band has their own solo project and everyone’s super dedicated to their solo project. I think that’s what makes us a great band, because we all bring our own songwriting elements to it. It’s a great band to be in. You wish you had time for everything in your life, but then you realise, especially with the nature of being a musician these days, where you have to tour relentlessly in order to get your music out there. It makes it hard to manage a couple bands. So yeah, I’ll finish this album cycle and tour that, and then early next year release the first single off our EP and tour that in my time off.
When exactly did you record your album?
It was recorded July, August last year.
At what point were you approached about waiting to release this album?
So I recorded thinking that I would just release it independently in a couple months, but then I went to a gig in Sydney and I ran into this guy Alastair Burns, who is my manager now. He manages Marlon Williams and I had toured with Marlon the year before. He was like “oh, just send me the record and let’s just see, blah, blah, blah”. Then he was like “yeah okay, let’s just hold on to it and see what happens”. But then it was kind of SXSW, [at] which I got the record deals and figured out when I was going to release it.
Who did you sign with?
My label in the US is Polyvinyl Records, based in Illinois and they’re great. Transgressive in the UK and they were the first label to come on board, they came to like every show at SXSW, and they’re just like super young, excited and work super hard.
Did you pick up both of these at SXSW?
Just Transgressive, then Polyvinyl was after and Liberation here was the last one.
It’s rare to land international label deals before domestic deals.
I think it’s worked out for me. I think in Australia people can get tall poppy syndrome a bit. I feel like getting success overseas first, meant that people took me more seriously here. I think that happened with Courtney Barnett as well, she got big in the US and everyone was like “sick, we’ll listen to her music now”. I’m glad I did it this way, it feels right to me.
At this point you must be really keen on the second album. Have you written down songs or ideas?
I’ve been writing a lot on tour. I found that environment was very productive for me in a weird way. for a while I struggling to figured out what I wanted to say for the second album. I was like “I’ve covered love and loss, what else is there to sing about?” *laughs*. You just feel a little bit like, I don’t want to make endless records about me singing about my issues. On this tour I’ve been away for two months, and I started writing more and thinking about more themes. It’s just a case of trying to figure out where the hell I’m going to slot it in time wise. I don’t to leave it too long, because I feel like the second record is like this horrible weight on people’s shoulders the longer you leave it.
Will you look to write about more external themes?
I’m not sure. I’m still writing about myself, but the themes aren’t necessarily about self doubt. It’s more about growing into a woman, and the difficulties that arise from that.
Do you think that allows the second album to be a little more varied?
Yeah. I think for your first record, I wasn’t going into [it] thinking “I want it to sound like this”, with this great idea conceptually of what it needed to be. It was more that I had these songs, I wanted to record them and do them justice. Whereas I feel for the second record, I feel more established and secure as an artist, and now I can think more about what I want the record to sound like as a whole, what kind of statement I want to make.
Do you have some songs penned down, that you’re keen on in particular?
Yes. I have three solid, solid ones. That I’m very excited to record.
You said in another interview that you weren’t entirely satisfied with the debut album, what aspect were you referring too?
I think it’s just the nature of this whole industry. You create something at a point in your life, and then you have go through a year of hype. To get to the point where people are actually going to listen to that record. And in this last year, I’ve done more to do with music than I ever have in my life, between like touring and learning. I feel so different to how I felt back then. Now I have to promote this record and talk about it like I just made it, but I made it before I had any contact with the industry or had any idea how this worked. I didn’t entirely know who I was as an artist or what kind of record I wanted to make. I’m happy with the way it is, because I made it at a time of life and it’s a good snapshot of that time, but it is hard to present it now and be like “this is me right now”.
So it wasn’t so much the actual recording itself?
Yeah. I mean I’ve heard artists talk about regretting their first album, but I don’t want to disrespect my 24 year old self. Who went to all the effort to make that record and record it the way she wanted to at the time. I don’t regret it, I’m just a different person now, I feel like I’ve grown and I’ll pull all of that in to the next record. *laughs* And I’ll probably have the same thoughts when releasing that, but I think I’ll release the second album quicker, it won’t take a year of trying to build up hype, because people will already know who I am, I guess.
The debut LP was recorded in New Zealand. What’s your ideal location for the second album?
I guess it would come down to who I am working with, because I don’t really know who I’m going to work with on the second one, but I did really like going away. I know not everybody can do that, but for me, just living in a small town, where it’s just me and my producer pretty much for three weeks. There’s something really, really nice about. Especially (now I’m going to sound like a grandpa) in this day and age, when you feel this constant need to check your phone all the time. Check in with the rest of the world. I feel like if I was at home in Sydney and I was just going about my day to day life and looking at my phone every two seconds. It would hard to immerse myself in the recording process, so I’d love to be able to just switch off and focus on that. Even now I’m getting the first reviews I’ve ever gotten of my music and it can really mess you up, even if it’s a good review, you’re reading this thing that some stranger thinks about you and you start questioning your own creative output.
I have a lot more empathy towards other musicians now. I remember you’d read a review in your local thing and it would give something like three stars and you’d just immediately go “Oh well, I won’t bother listening to that” or something. You forget that, that person has probably poured two years of their life, all their savings and all their emotional energy into that record. To then only have like one person listen to it, once over and it give three stars.
What are the touring plans for next year?
Most of my next year is booked up with tours. I haven’t really looked at it, just people keep telling me that, that’s my schedule and I’m trying not to think about it. Lots of UK and Europe touring.
Before all of that, do you know much about Paradise Music Festival?
Not entirely, I’ve just heard that it’s really great and beautiful.
It’s a shame that you’re playing another gig the next day and can’t hang around.
That’s just the way it is, isn’t it, like I used to think “I hope one day I become a musician, because I don’t want to keep going to music festivals and not playing them”, because I just get really itchy feet. But now that I’m playing festivals, I realise that you can’t actually enjoy the festivals. *laughs* You just breeze in, play your set and then you have to go. I think Laneway Festival will be really good for hanging around, because it’s the same crew and musicians going to every city, and you’ve just got your one set.
|October 24th @ Maze, Berlin||October 25th @ Blue Shell, Cologne|
|October 26th @ Unter Deck, Munich||October 27th @ Palace, St Gallen|
|October 29th @ Maze, Berlin||October 30th @ Blue Shell, Cologne|
|October 31st @ Rotown, Rotterdam||November 2nd @ Le Pop-Up du Label, Paris|
|November 3rd @ The Haunt, Brighton||November 4th @ Bodega, Nottingham|
|November 5th @ CCA, Glasgow||November 6th @ The Cluny, Newcastle|
|November 8th @ Manchester Gorilla, Manchester||November 9th @ Thekla, Bristol|
|November 10th @ Koko, London||November 11th @ Grand Social, Dublin|
|November 17th @ The Foundry, Brisbane||November 18th & 19th @ Mullumbimby Music Festival, NSW|
|November 23rd @ Jive Bar, Adelaide||November 24th @ Howler, Melbourne|
|November 25th @ Paradise Music Festival, VIC||November 26th & 27th @ Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC|
|December 1st @ Transit Bar, Canberra||December 2nd @ The Small Ballroom, Newscastle|
|December 2nd & 3rd @ Fairsground Festival, NSW||December 9th @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney|
|December 10th @ FourFiveNine, Perth||December 16th @ The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba|
A couple of weeks ago I sat down with Buoy before her show at Boney for a brief and lovely chat. We spoke about her move from Tamworth to Sydney, her plans for the future including Paradise Music Festival next month and facing harsh criticism from six-year-olds.
Marcus Rimondini: Where are you from originally?
Buoy: I grew up in Tamworth. I moved when I was 18 after I finished school and moved to Lismore. I went to Southern Cross University and I studied piano there, I was there for three years. It was a contemporary music performance course.
When did you cross over to become Buoy?
After University when I moved to Sydney. I’ve always loved pop music.
How did you find it coming up through Sydney, did you associate yourself with certain artists? How did people find you originally?
I recorded it all. When I chose to start the Buoy project, I just made some recordings and then I sent them around, nothing really happened from that. Until I asked the booking agent of the band I used to be in.
What was that band’s name?
It was called Hello Vera.
What kind of music did Hello Vera make?
It was kind of alternative, piano, pop, synthy. It was a funny set up. It was a really good experience though. I learnt how bands work and I was very naive before then. Also playing piano growing up, it’s a very solo instrument, so I just wasn’t used to playing with other people.
What venues did you start playing at when you started Buoy?
The venue I first played at as Buoy was Goodgod. Which is called Plan B now. My manager happened to be at that gig and she moved very quickly, in working with me.
What are your regular places to play now in Sydney?
Well, I just did my launch at the Newtown Social Club. I’ve played there a couple of times, it’s always a good sound there.
What’s your day to day life like?
I teach piano, and I teach singing at a primary school to little tiny kids. Actually I had a six year old tell me, when he was about to play ‘Hot Cross Buns‘, before he played it he said “don’t take any offence, but I don’t want you to sing along when I play it, because you don’t actually have that good of a voice” [laughs]. I do that a couple days a week, and the rest of the time I get to write at home in Surry Hills.
When did you record the Break EP?
I recorded it over the past two years in my room, and Christopher Port had a friend who got me some studio time at his friends studio. It was just a couple of days in the studio, just doing things that we couldn’t do in our bedrooms pretty much, fine tuning and stuff. Using better quality gear.
Is that fine tuning the vocals or the instrumentation?
It’s mainly the vocals. If there’s also a piano in the studio, that’s really nice too.
What was the difference in approach between the Immersion EP and the Break EP?
Immersion was solely in the bedroom. Break was mostly in the bedroom, except for one song, ‘Clouds & Rain‘, [which] we did in the studio.
What were you listening to while you were recording Break?
The goal was to make it a bit more uptempo. At the time we were listening to In Colour and ‘All Under One Roof Raving‘ by Jamie Xx , that sort of vibe.
What’s your connection with Jack Grace?
I met Jack at University and he was also in Hello Vera.
What instruments do you use on stage?
I use a keyboard, MIDI, Laptop and a sampler. I have a little synth at home that I don’t get to use on stage that much, because it’s too hard to carry around. It’s used in the recordings. Sometimes when I play in Sydney I take it with me.
How do you supplement it live? with the laptop?
What’s the plan for summer, touring wise?
In October I have a national tour supporting Lisa Mitchell, Paradise Music Festival and The Plot in November, and then Subsonic Music Festival is the last thing.
Do you know much about Paradise?
No! I have never been, but everyone tells me amazing things about it. Like “it’s the best festival. It’s so nice”.
What are your plans for next year? SXSW?
There is talk of it, but it’s really hard with visas and everything. Carrying all the gear… You know, funds [laughs].
Then do you plan on world domination? [laughs]
[laughs] I don’t know, I don’t really have one. I’m just enjoying being me. I’m just really enjoying writing songs, putting them out and playing.
|October 13th & 14th @ Howler, Melbourne||October 15th @ Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane|
|October 22nd @ 23rd – Newtown Social Club, Sydney||October 27th @ Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth|
|October 28th @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide||November 19th @ The Plot, Parramatta Park|
|November 25th-27th @ Paradise Music Festival, Victoria||December 2nd-4th @ Subsonic Music Festival, Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley|
Paradise Music Festival was possibly our favourite weekend of 2014, and they’ve just released the lineup for this year’s festival, which features a selection of Ripe favourites like Kirkis, Null, Amateur Dance, Asdasfr Bawd and Andrei Eremin among others.
The other highlight of Paradise 2014 was the unique pairing of the stunning outdoor amphitheatre surrounded by the pale skeletal trees claimed by bushfires, and the luxury of an indoor club to keep everyone dancing until the sun comes up.
It’s on at the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort near Marysville, November 27-29, and the first round of tickets has already gone, but you can snap up a second round ticket for $175 plus booking fee.
The second lineup will be announced later in the year, so there’s still time for a few more surprises. Here’s the full lineup so far:
Lurch & Chief
Tiny Little Houses
The Completely Boys